"Chica, this is Romano." Spain's told you, his hand holding onto the little brown-haired boy. You blushed and looked down. "He-hello." You murmured in response, your small legs swinging as you sat on the bench, your feet nowhere near touching the ground.
"Now Romano, be a good boy and keep (y/n) company alright? Be nice to her." The Spaniard sat down on his haunches, addressing the boy, whose arms were folded. "Whatever. Just leave already." His shrill voice said indignantly.
You frowned; he was being rude to Spain. Didn't he know that children were supposed to be seen and not heard? At least, that was what your mother always said to you, especially at events like the one you were attending at that very moment.
Your mother was rather extravagant and liked throwing dinner-parties for pretty much all the people she'd ever known. You, being a child, thought them to be extremely boring and all you liked about them was that you got lots of dessert and that you were allowed to stay up late.
You watched your swinging feet when the boy came and sat next to you. The two of you sat in silence for a while, even though you were happy. It was the first time someone of your age was at one of these things, but you knew that if you started to play with him, your mother would probably beat you again for making too much noise, being annoying.
Biting your lip, you thought back to yesterday evening, when, after you'd complained about the party she'd hit you. Very, very hard. Fortunately in some sick twist, she always hit you where it was possible to cover it up.
So you hid your bruises with your linen and lace, smiling over the pain to make sure you weren't taken away from her. She was your mother after all, and you loved her dearly. Even when she screamed at you, hit you 'till you were black and blue, you couldn't help loving her.
And it was your fault she hit you anyway, that's what she'd always say. That if that bastard of a man hadn't 'raped' her, you never would have been born, whatever that meant.
You didn't understand that all the things she organised in her social circle was to redeem herself, to make her look like a women who hadn't had her future snatched away from her by a man with a serrated knife.
You sniffed and desperately blinked your eyes to make sure you wouldn't cry, you knew how mother hated that. Suddenly you felt someone poke your face. "Are you alright?" Romano asked, his head cocked to one side.
When you saw him, you couldn't help yourself, instinctively you hugged him, your silent tears flowing down your cheeks.
"Wha-what do you think yo- Hey! Don't cry, come on!" Awkwardly he returned your hug, patting you on the back.
After several minutes of shakingly sobbing, you straightened up and gave him a half-hearted smile. "So-sorry." You mumbled, wiping your tears away. "It's okay. Why were you crying anyway?" He asked, a tinge of concern coating his words.
"Ah, it's a, it's nothing." You hurriedly looked around to make sure your mother hadn't seen your tears. Unfortunately, she had. She shot a glare over to you and you shrank back against Romano's warm side.
She excused herself from the people she was in conversation with and quickly walked over to you, her heels clicking against the polished floor. Your eyes grew in fear as she came closer to you and yanked on your upper arm to drag you to the hallway.
Your fist clenched around a bit of Romano's shirt and together you were taken outside. Spain, who'd seen the three of you disappearing behind the door, followed to see what was going on.
As he trotted up to the closed door, he opened it a crack. "-and how dare you humiliate me like that!" You were shaken violently by your arms, new tears springing to your eyes.
"I'm, I just-"
"No! Shut your filthy mouth!"
Romano had been pushed to the side when she grabbed hold of you and was staring transfixed at the scene in front of him. She raised her hand and you flinched, your body's reflex faster than your thoughts.
You heard a loud 'smack' and a gasp from the door. Trembling, you cracked one eye open to see-?
He stood in front of your cowering form, his hand outstretched in protection. On his cheek was a red mark of a hand.
"Romano!" All of you snapped your heads up to see a shocked Spain, running towards Romano and you. He embraced both of you, whispering something in a different language to Romano.
"What's gotten into you?!" He shouted at your mother, his voice cracking slightly. She stuck her chin out stubbornly, not an ounce of regret playing in her eyes. That was enough for him.
Spain picked you up, you sitting on his left arm and Romano on his right and marched purposely away from her, out of the house and into his car.
After placing you in his backseat and strapping you in, he took you away from that nightmare and to his house of the sun.
By this time, the events and your emotions had gotten too much for you and crying, you had fallen asleep.
Spain helped you out of your seat and cradled you as he took you upstairs, Romano walking beside him. Your shoes taken off, you were placed in Spain's large bed.
He and little Romano sat and watched you get comfortable in your sleep. When you started sighing contentedly, Spain nodded, taking Romano to treat his face.
As he held an icepack against his cheek, Spain bent forward. "Romano, I'm very happy about what you did today. What you did was very, very brave, I'm very proud of you. Just tell me though, why? Why did you get hit for her eh?" He murmured, curious to his reason.
The little boy turned red when he got praised and looked away from his prying, green eyes.
"Just, because.... Before, before she started crying, she looked so determined to look strong. But I could see her tears before they fell. I just thought she looked so sad, so weak. And I wanted to help her. And protect her. I don't want to see her cry like that again." He held his fist up to his heart.
"It hurt here, you know?" He looked up at Spain, whose eyebrows were raised in astonishment. Spain hadn't realised that Romano, who always cussed even at this young age, who didn't seemingly care about others, that he'd been able to tell all of that from the short time he'd spent with you.
He nodded, still amazed. "I'll take care of her from now on. Both of us will." Spain held his hand out to him, his little finger outstretched.
"Promise with me?"
Romano nodded and shook his pinkie with Spain's. "I swear, I will protect (y/n) if it's the last thing I do."
And for the rest of your life together with them, they kept their promise.